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Should Hillsborough Trade Cruise Ships for the Rays?

A county commissioner has floated an idea that could benefit both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, according to the Tampa Bay Times: Send the Rays across the bay in return for Tampa's cruise ship business.

Here's an interesting plot twist in the ongoing conversation about where the Tampa Bay Rays' next home should be.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist threw out this idea, according to the Tampa Bay Times: Send the Rays to Hillsborough County in exchange for Tampa's cruise ship business.

According to the Times, the newest cruise megaships are too large to squeeze under the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Hillsborough County is trying to figure out how to accommodate them, possibly with a new terminal outside Tampa.

Meanwhile, the Rays have proposed to move out of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where they are currently contractually obligated to play through 2027. As reported in the Times, a coalition on the issue explored moving the team out of downtown St. Petersburg and into the Pinellas Gateway area or Hillsborough County, to prevent the Rays from leaving the Bay area entirely.

Is this closer to a win-win proposal for the two counties? Should Hillsborough pursue a plan that would include losing the cruise industry if it meant getting the Rays? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Sherri Lonon May 04, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Would you go to more games if the Rays were on this side of the Bay?
John Hill May 05, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Yes
Maida May 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM
NO
Holly Schwarzmann May 07, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I would be a season ticket holder in a heartbeat if I didn't have to drive all the way to St. Petersburg. I'm a huge Rays fan, but I can't make it to as many games as I would like because of the distance.

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